Arrivals from same five countries remain exempt from quarantine rule ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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Coronavirus testing starts at Tallinn Airport. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

For the second week running, passengers from Bulgaria, Finland, Greece Iceland, and Norway can enter Estonia without having to quarantine or provide proof of a negative coronavirus test result from February 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

The ministry updates its regulations and requirements every Friday evening ahead of the new week, meaning the new regime kicks in on Monday – in practice unchanged on the previous week.

The lack of quarantine requirement applies to arrivals from countries with a reported coronavirus 14-day rate below 150 per 100,000 inhabitants, namely the five countries listed. For all other European arrivals, a 10-day quarantine period is in place, prolonged to 14 days in the case of arrivals from the U.K., who must also present proof of having passed negative on a COVID-19 test in the preceding 72 hours.

However, from February 1, U.K. arrivals who have either been vaccinated against coronavirus, or who contracted and recovered from the virus more than six months ago, also do not need to quarantine on arrival, the ministry says.

In the week beginning February 7, the 10-day requirement applies to the following EU/EEA/Schengen Area countries (note exceptions applied to arrivals from Latvia and Lithuania): Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia*, Liechtenstein, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

*In the week beginning February 7, the 10-day requirement applies to the following EU/EEA/Schengen Area countries (note exceptions applied to arrivals from Latvia and Lithuania): Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia*, Liechtenstein, Lithuania*, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

1) The person has taken a coronavirus test no earlier than 72 hours before their arrival in Estonia and the result is negative, or they have taken the test immediately after their arrival in Estonia and the result is negative. The passenger is required to remain in isolation while waiting for the test result.

(2) They arrive in Estonia for working, studying or receiving health services or for family reasons or transit. When traveling to Estonia for the reasons listed above, it is not required to take a coronavirus test before arriving in Estonia.

While the reported coronavirus rate for the Vatican City State remains at zero, in practice since its arrivals will have passed through Italian territory, they would still need to quarantine on arrival in Estonia.

For booking a second test, passengers can contact the call centre for public testing line on (+372 678 0000).

Details about testing are available here.

Quarantine periods can be shortened by doing the following, if arriving from the EU/EEA/Schengen Zone.

1) Those wanting to avoid having to quarantine for 10 days after their arrival in Estonia can take a PCR test abroad no earlier than 72 hours before their arrival in Estonia. While in Estonia, a second test can be taken no earlier than on the sixth day after the first test. The 10-day isolation period can be concluded earlier if both tests are negative.

2) Those who have not taken a test up to 72 hours before their arrival in Estonia can take one immediately after their arrival and the second test no earlier than six days after their first test. The 10-day isolation period can be concluded earlier if both tests are negative.

U.K. Rules

Starting from 1 February, the 10-day self-isolation and COVID-19 testing are not mandatory for individuals, including those arriving from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or a third country, who:

1) have suffered from COVID-19 and no more than six months have passed since they have been declared cured;

2) have undergone COVID-19 vaccination and no more than six months have passed since its completion.

Information about the required certificates is available here.

Since January 1 2021, passengers arriving in Estonia from the U.K. have been subject to an additional obligation introduced by the Government of Estonia to take a COVID-19 test no earlier than 72 hours before arrival, and the result of the rest must prove negative.

 
The test is not compulsory for children under the age of 12. A 10-day self-isolation is also mandatory for passengers arriving from the U.K. (see above). The rule applies even in cases when the passenger has only transited through the U.K. on their way to Estonia.
 
The period of self-isolation can be shortened if in addition to the first negative test, a second test taken 7 days after arrival is also negative (see above).

Outside the EU/EEA/Schengen Zone/U.K.

On January 28 2021, the Council of the European Union reviewed the list of third countries included in Annex 1 of its recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU*, and according to the list, it is possible to travel to Estonia from Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. A 10-day self-isolation is mandatory for passengers arriving from countries with an infection rate above 16 people per 100 000 inhabitants in the past 14 days, i.e. passengers arriving from South Korea and Rwanda.

* Press release on the reviewed list of countries included in Annex 1 of the recommendation of the Council of the European Union.

Anyone arriving in Estonia for the purpose of work or studying at an educational institution registered in Estonia from a third country not included in Annex 1 of the recommendation of the Council of the European Union, is subject to the 10-day mandatory self-isolation, and they must take a coronavirus test immediately after arriving in Estonia and a second test no earlier than six days after the first test. Testing does not grant the right to stop self-isolating before the mandatory period ends.

Information about countries and restrictions on movement is reviewed on a weekly basis and published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommendations 

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against any non-essential international travel.

In those cases where travel is unavoidable, the foreign ministry recommends (direct quote from the ministry):

  •  "Before planning your trip, consulting the ministry website for the infection rate in the planned country of destination;
  • For information about restrictions in your destination, please consult the Reisi Targalt website, the EU's ReOpen portal, or contact the representation of the country for more details;
  • Register your trip at the Foreign Ministry's Reisi Targalt website to allow us to notify you of possible travel restrictions;
  • Follow the recommendations of the Health Board (Terviseamet) for a safe flight; if you show symptoms, please postpone your trip and contact your GP;
  • Take out travel insurance and carefully read the conditions of your insurance (including for travel interruptions caused by COVID-19);
  • when crossing the border, you must fill out a declaration, which can be done electronically. The declaration can be completed 24 hours before arriving in Estonia; Make sure to keep the confirmation email you will receive after you have completed the form. The declaration can still be filled out on paper; it is available here.
  • at your destination, follow the instructions of local authorities and keep up to date with possible new restrictions;
  • on your return, follow the rules introduced in Estonia, and if you suspect you have been infected with the virus, contact your GP."

The ministry says it: "Would like to highlight that countries can change their conditions for entry and stay at short notice. We recommend contacting the representation or the relevant authorities of your destination country for more detailed information about the conditions that apply there."

A national helpline is available 1247 (+372 600 1247 when calling from abroad) for additional information on the coronavirus and restriction on the freedom of movement. Please note this line now provides general help information inside Estonia as well, including on road traffic and environmental matters, whereas it had previously covered just COVID-19 issues.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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